Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Now I wait for the punchline

I was pretty emotional when I was told I needed a biopsy.
At that moment, the emotions were not about me though -
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37 and her life was taken by cancer at age 47.
She was not the type to "share" her experiences - she never talked about her life, her feelings, past or present to us. So, when she was going through her illness and treatment she never, ever discussed any of it with us - I think in her mind she was trying to protect us or show strength. She went through it alone and that moment in the ultrasound room, it was dark, only the light of the screen and the tech had walked out for a long while and I was alone - I felt my moms loneliness like a heavy weight on my heart and I cried, not for me but I felt like I was crying for her. I wondered if she cried - sadly, I don't know.    

I was told that I have 2 masses, one that appears to look very closely to breast tissue (and will be kept an eye on in the next 6 months, and one that looks "different" (in the words of the Dr at that moment "different is not necessarily a bad thing")
I was so nervous for the procedure but I think the Kaiser nurses and Drs. that were involved did a great job of preparing me, detailed and knowledgeable - they told me every step that would take place, answered every question I had and were so so nice, gentle & comforting  the best "service" I've experienced. The nurses assured me that the Dr. doing my procedure was the most gentle that they work with - blessed me! cause my level of nervousness far surpassed what the experience called for in retrospect (but I also think this of mammograms, people just make mammo sounds soooo bad and that hasn't been my experience but that may be because my boobs are saggy and mostly skin due to weight loss - TMI ha! it's MY blog).

I laid on my back in the dark room so that the Dr. could use the ultrasound to pinpoint the exact area he needed to sample. So, I watched the screen while he gave me a shot - local anesthetic, similar to when you have your teeth worked on. I only felt a tiny pinch and was quickly numb. 2 needlely instruments were inserted to the left breast, I could see their target on the screen, so so tiny, a piece of dust but perfectly round and distinct. I could see when the needle reached it and heard a loud click, like a big staple gun - the sample was removed, needle reinserted and another loud click. The Dr. then inserted the tiniest titanium piece at the spot of the biopsy, like a spec - I liked that they called it a "ribbon" so that the spot will be easily viewed in the future, and he was done. One of the nurses had to stand over me and applied pressure to the area for what seemed like forever to minimize bleeding. They applied sutures and then had me just rest so they could keep an eye on me for a while - they really "babied" me, which is fine by me. Before I left they did another mammo to make sure the "ribbon" was visible, gave me instruction for after care - Ice, ice and more ice all day in my bra. Told me not to exercise or do any activity that will raise my heart rate for 3-5 days (no lifting over 5 lbs)  and to heed their warning to take it easy - that I will feel fine at first, but don't be fooled. I was pretty good at first, probably mostly relief that the procedure was done - but as the day went on I was really sore and have been for the last few days - this is day 3 and I still feel sore.
They said it would take 3 to 5 days to receive the results of the biopsy - so, now I am waiting to hear. They asked, should we leave a message if we can't reach you?  I guess so, no, maybe not, what if its positive and my daughter hears the message before me and she's alone and I can't comfort her? No, no message. The Dr. the nurses & Google have all told me of the slim slim chances that the spot is cancer. I wonder if that is what they told my mom too...I will never know.


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